The Decision to Drop the Atomic Bomb

Synopsis

This book is a balanced account of the political, diplomatic, and military currents that influenced Japan's attempts to surrender and the United States's decision to drop the atomic bombs. Based on extensive research in both the United States and Japan, this book allows the reader to follow the parallel decision-making in Tokyo and Washington that contributed to lost opportunities that might have allowed a less brutal conclusion to the war. Topics discussed and analyzed include Japan's desperate military situation; its decision to look to the Soviet Union to mediate the conflict; the Manhattan Project; the debates within Truman's Administration and the armed forces as to whether to modify unconditional surrender terms to include retention of Emperor Hirohito and whether to plan for the invasion of Japan's home islands or to rely instead on blockade and bombing to force the surrender.

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